No Animals Were Harmed in The Writing of This Tale

I may have dreamt this, all of it. Or maybe not. Anyhow I lived to tell the tale, and learned how not to treat people.

When you start working up there you won’t be starting on the starting line, you will be starting well behind it. Such was the ringing endorsement my first boss gave me when I resigned and told him I was leaving my job.

He was referring to the University of Ulster at Coleraine where I had just been appointed Editor. In truth he was happy to see me go.

A year or so before a book I had worked on with him and a rather pompous academic of Yorkshire stock went into print with a word missing as a result of a layout mistake. He went ballistic and verbally abused me in front of the whole office telling me the sooner I left the better. It was a sentiment I agreed with but he would have to wait another while and so would I.

As an example of how not to treat people I found my time in that Place of Employment illuminating. Public dressings down, bollocking and downright dogs abuse were common enough from a man who used an honorific title, not having achieved a doctorate. There was no doubt he was a very accomplished historian, and though charming to strangers, Americans and those for whom he did research, he was pig ignorant to his staff.

And he was also wrong about the University.

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